Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 23rd November, 2022 10.15 am

Venue: Committee Room, First Floor, BCP Civic Centre Annex, St Stephen's Rd, Bournemouth BH2 6LL. View directions

Contact: Sarah Culwick (01202 817615)  Email: democratic.services@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

75.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

The Leader declared an interest in relation to Minute No 79 (Finance Strategy Update Report) specifically relating to the confidential appendices advising that one of his engineering companies does have a lease over one of the sites in the confidential appendices but that they had no interest in acquiring the site and had therefore sought advice and can continue to take part in that item.

Councillor Nigel Brooks declared an interest in Minute No. 82 (Housing and Property Compliance Update (Housing Revenue Account) advising that he was a director of Bournemouth Building Maintenance Ltd.

 

76.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 311 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 26 October 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2022 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

77.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s2305/Public%20Items%20-%20Meeting%20Procedure%20Rules.pdf 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

The Leader advised that there had been no questions, statements or petitions received on this occasion.

 

78.

Recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees

To consider recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees on items not otherwise included on the Cabinet Agenda.

Minutes:

Cabinet was advised that there were no additional recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees on items not otherwise indicated on the Cabinet Agenda on this occasion.

 

79.

Finance Strategy Update Report pdf icon PDF 287 KB

The October Cabinet report set out how a balanced budget for 2023/24 would be delivered and this was shared with DLUHC on the 24 October 2022. As set out in October report, having undertaken this work the challenge is now translating this work into a detailed implementation workstream and strength testing the deliverability of the assumptions that had been made with a robust evidence base. Of particularly importance will be those around service savings and efficiencies to avoid double-counting savings especially with those be delivered by the transformation programme.

This November report presents an update on this workstream and highlights that the consequences of the initial work around implementation is that further “below the line” budget proposals have been established which are those that would be the most challenging to deliver.

[PLEASE NOTE: Should the Cabinet wish to discuss the detail of Appendix XX the meeting will be required to move into Confidential (Exempt) Session]

Additional documents:

Decision:

It is RECOMMENDED that Cabinet:

(a)        Supports the update of the plan to deliver a balanced budget for 2023/24 and the testing of the implementation process;

(b)        Recognises the continued improvement to the in-year position with a surplus of £8.5m now projected; and

(c)        Acknowledges that further proposals have been identified to replace any proposals that cannot now be delivered, or which have been deferred into a future year.

It is RECOMMENDED that Council:

(d)       Approves the disposal of Non-Strategic Asset Sales as set out in confidential appendix A, subject to achieving the estimated sales value for each lot, with the decision delegated to the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Leader or Deputy Leader of the Council as appropriate; and

(e)       Approves a pooled budget arrangement in relation to section 117 Aftercare as set out in appendix B.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Leader of the Council

Reason

Further to a recommendation agreed by Cabinet on the 7 September 2022, an update on the Councils financial strategy will be a standing item on the Cabinet agenda until such time as a balanced budget for 2023/24 has been delivered.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was reminded that the October Cabinet report had set out how a balanced budget for 2023/24 would be delivered and this was shared with DLUHC on the 24 October 2022.

In relation to this Cabinet was advised that as set out in the October report that having undertaken this work the challenge is now translating this work into a detailed implementation workstream and strength testing the deliverability of the assumptions that had been made with a robust evidence base, and that of particular importance will be those around service savings and efficiencies to avoid double-counting savings especially with those being delivered by the transformation programme.

Cabinet was informed that this November report presented an update on this workstream and highlights that the consequences of the initial work around implementation is that further “below the line” budget proposals have been established which are those that would be the most challenging to deliver.

The Chairman of the Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee addressed the Cabinet advising that at their recent meeting there had been comprehensive discussion on the report and the committee recommended that: -

Recommendation 4 as outlined in the report is not approved and that Cabinet gives further consideration to the list of non-strategic Asset Sales as set out in exempt Appendix A and that Cabinet give further consideration to all other options.

In relation to this the Chairman of the Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee advised that the committee requested that:

The Portfolio Holder and relevant officers bring a report to the next O&S Committee on:

  1. The wider list of assets considered for disposal and the reasons for those selected for shortlist
  2. The timetable for the controlled disposal of public assets, which maximises value and controls risk.

Voting: 6:0 (3 abstentions)

The Leader thanked the Chairman of the Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the Committees recommendations, and in relation to that urged the cabinet to go with the recommendation 4 as put emphasising the potential time scale implications for delaying this.

In addition the Leader advised of the forthcoming budget cafes.

Cabinet was advised that there would be no budget update report going to the January Cabinet meeting as a balanced budget position had been achieved and that focus needed to be given to presenting the annual budget to the February meeting.

It is RECOMMENDED that Cabinet:

(a)        Supports the update of the plan to deliver a balanced budget for 2023/24 and the testing of the implementation process;

(b)        Recognises the continued improvement to the in-year position with a surplus of £8.5m now projected; and

(c)        Acknowledges that further proposals have been identified to replace any proposals that cannot now be delivered, or which have been deferred into a future year.

It is RECOMMENDED that Council:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Mid-Year Corporate Performance Report pdf icon PDF 408 KB

BCP Council’s priorities and values, underpinning how we will work to develop and deliver services, are set out in the Corporate Strategy which was adopted by Full Council in November 2019.

Refreshed vision and ambition statements are set out in the Big Plan, providing a wider context and further drive to deliver the Corporate Strategy.

Delivery plan actions are refreshed annually affording the opportunity to celebrate the progress already made and ensure future planned actions remain relevant and are in line with the council’s wider vision and ambitions.

The appended report shows a positive performance story against the actions and the key peformance measures that Cabinet agreed in February 2022. Individual exception reports provide explanations and planned actions to address areas in need of improvement.

Each of the priority updates are cross referenced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Levelling up Goals. Reported progress has also been aligned to the six domains of the Equality and Human Rights Commission performance framework.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)        Considered the Mid-Year Performance reports;

(b)        Considered the performance exception reports relating to areas of underperformance; and

(c)        Supported the change to the performance indicator set and advise of any further amendments to the performance indicator set that informs corporate performance

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Leader of the Council

Reason

The corporate strategy represents the objectives and outcomes that the Council’s performance will be judged against and as such is a vital component of the Council’s performance management framework.

An understanding of performance against targets, goals and objectives helps us understand and manage service delivery and identify emerging business risks.

Minutes:

The Leader presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was informed that BCP Council’s priorities and values, underpinning how we will work to develop and deliver services, are set out in the Corporate Strategy which was adopted by Full Council in November 2019.

In relation to this Cabinet was advised that refreshed vision and ambition statements are set out in the Big Plan, providing a wider context and further drive to deliver the Corporate Strategy.

Further to this Cabinet was informed that the delivery plan actions are refreshed annually affording the opportunity to celebrate the progress already made and ensure future planned actions remain relevant and are in line with the council’s wider vision and ambitions, and that the appended report shows a positive performance story against the actions and the key peformance measures that Cabinet agreed in February 2022. Individual exception reports provide explanations and planned actions to address areas in need of improvement.

Cabinet was further advised that each of the priority updates are cross referenced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Levelling up Goals, and that reported progress has also been aligned to the six domains of the Equality and Human Rights Commission performance framework.

Members spoke in support of the work which had been carried out in relation to the exception reports.

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)        Considered the Mid-Year Performance reports;

(b)        Considered the performance exception reports relating to areas of underperformance; and

(c)        Supported the change to the performance indicator set and advise of any further amendments to the performance indicator set that informs corporate performance

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Leader of the Council

 

81.

Flexible Housing scheme at Summers Avenue, Bournemouth pdf icon PDF 238 KB

This scheme is being brought forward from programme 5 (hardest to reach) of CNHAS -  approved by Cabinet on the 29th September 2021.

The BCP owned site currently consists of 2x 1-bedroom bungalows at 1 Summers Avenue and 10 Tonge Road, Bournemouth, residing in the protected Heathland zone. The existing properties present ongoing significant maintenance issues for BCP Council which are not sustainable or flexible enough in their use.

The site presents an opportunity for redevelopment and the building of replacement – but with more bedrooms, better quality sustainable affordable and flexible homes. 

One property is empty with the tenant in a Council owned temporary decant property, waiting for approval for this to become a permanent decant. The other property is occupied with an alternative Council owned property identified. Once approval to progress the development is provided both tenants decant will become permanent .

The new homes provide 2x 2-bed wheelchair properties, catering for a variety of needs. Planning was granted on 20th September 2022. The increase from 1 to 2 beds is a positive response to the restrictive Heathland designation.

The Housing Delivery team, BCP Homes colleagues and Adult Social care are working together to ensure the most appropriate residents are placed in these flexible homes when they are complete.

The necessary building works are to be procured directly with the internal Construction Works Team, subject to capacity and budgets being acceptable.

 

They will be built using the design & construction principles as set out in the approved CNHAS Strategy to ensure they provide high levels of thermal efficiency, space and amenity and minimise the need for retrospective environmental upgrades in the foreseeable future – refer para 6.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that: -

(a)           the budget of £543k for the new Summers Avenue scheme to the Council Newbuild Housing & Acquisitions Strategy (CHNAS) be approved;

(b)           the financial strategy for the scheme as set out in paragraphs 8 to 11 with specific approval for the use of £400k new prudential borrowing to be repaid over 50 years from the HRA be approved;

(c)           the procurement of build works to the inhouse Construction Works Team (subject to capacity and budget compliance) be approved;

(d)          the delegation to SRO (in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officer) authority to enter into a contract for build works providing all key parameters (including delivery within approved capital budget) are met; and

(e)          the appropriation of land for housing purposes if required be approved.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Development, Growth and Regeneration

Reason

To enable the proposed affordable housing scheme to progress with the agreed funding arrangements through to construction and subsequent completion to deliver the wide range of benefits to the Council and local communities.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Development, Growth and Regeneration presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was advised that this scheme is being brought forward from programme 5 (hardest to reach) of CNHAS which was approved by Cabinet on the 29th September 2021, and that the BCP owned site currently consists of 2x 1-bedroom bungalows at 1 Summers Avenue and 10 Tonge Road, Bournemouth, residing in the protected Heathland zone.

Cabinet was informed that the existing properties present ongoing significant maintenance issues for BCP Council which are not sustainable or flexible enough in their use, and that the site presents an opportunity for redevelopment and the building of replacement – but with more bedrooms, better quality sustainable affordable and flexible homes. 

Cabinet was advised that one property is empty with the tenant in a Council owned temporary decant property, waiting for approval for this to become a permanent decant, and that the other property is occupied with an alternative Council owned property identified.

In relation to this Cabinet was advised that once approval to progress the development is provided both tenants decant will become permanent.

Cabinet was informed that the new homes provide 2x 2-bed wheelchair properties, catering for a variety of needs. Planning was granted on 20th September 2022, and that the increase from 1 to 2 beds is a positive response to the restrictive Heathland designation.

Cabinet was advised that the Housing Delivery team, BCP Homes colleagues and Adult Social care are working together to ensure the most appropriate residents are placed in these flexible homes when they are complete.

Cabinet was further advised that the necessary building works are to be procured directly with the internal Construction Works Team, subject to capacity and budgets being acceptable, and that they will be built using the design & construction principles as set out in the approved CNHAS Strategy to ensure they provide high levels of thermal efficiency, space and amenity and minimise the need for retrospective environmental upgrades in the foreseeable future.

RESOLVED that: -

(a)           the budget of £543k for the new Summers Avenue scheme to the Council Newbuild Housing & Acquisitions Strategy (CHNAS) be approved;

(b)           the financial strategy for the scheme as set out in paragraphs 8 to 11 with specific approval for the use of £400k new prudential borrowing to be repaid over 50 years from the HRA be approved;

(c)           the procurement of build works to the inhouse Construction Works Team (subject to capacity and budget compliance) be approved;

(d)          the delegation to SRO (in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officer) authority to enter into a contract for build works providing all key parameters (including delivery within approved capital budget) are met; and

(e)          the appropriation of land for housing purposes if required be approved.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Development, Growth and Regeneration

 

82.

Housing and Property Compliance Update (Housing Revenue Account) pdf icon PDF 298 KB

This report provides information on how the council meets its responsibilities in ensuring that all council housing within the Housing Revenue Account is managed in a way that meets compliance with current health and safety legislation, best practice and regulatory standards to ensure the health and safety of residents. It also sets out issues concerning compliance and demonstrates how these are being managed.

The report provides performance information to the end of quarter 2, 2022/23. There are no significant issues of non-compliance to report but a recent internal audit of the Bournemouth neighbourhood identified several issues which are set out which impact upon assurance. There is also a concern in gaining access to homes in Bournemouth to carry out lift inspections.

There are increased responsibilities placed on social landlords to manage the health and safety of residents primarily included in the new Building Safety Act 2022 although many of its provisions require further secondary legislation.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 require the council to fit carbon monoxide alarms to all its homes by 1 October 2022. The council wrote to the Regulator of Social Housing as not all homes were compliant. We informed them that our programme to fit the alarms had already commenced and by February 2023 all our homes will be compliant. The Regulator’s expectations are that plans are put in place to ensure compliance and has replied confirming that there has been no breach of regulatory standards.

With the creation of the new inhouse housing management service, BCP Homes, work is required to align policies and procedures regarding property compliance.

Future changes will also be made to the regulatory regime overseen by the Regulator through the Social Housing Regulation Bill. Following the white paper, the charter for social housing residents, new national tenant satisfaction measures will be reported on from April 2023 and will include those relating to maintaining building safety.

In preparation for these changes, we will continue to take steps to improve our existing monitoring and recording of compliance work.

An Advisory Board has been established to support the work of the new BCP Homes service and the Portfolio Holder for People and Homes. The Board, consisting of independent, resident and councillor members will provide an additional element of oversight and assurance around many areas including property compliance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that: -

(a)          Cabinet notes the compliance information provided which details how the council is performing against statutory building compliance relating to its council housing; and

(b)          A performance report will be made annually to Cabinet in future years.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: People and Homes

Reason

The council, as a landlord, has many legal obligations it must satisfy to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its tenants and leaseholders. It must also adhere to the regulatory standards as set out by the Regulator of Social Housing, particularly the Home Standard.

Councillors should also have oversight and assurance of compliance against the legal and regulatory requirements that are placed upon it through this annual report to Cabinet.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for People and Homes presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'D' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was advised that the report provided information on how the council meets its responsibilities in ensuring that all council housing within the Housing Revenue Account is managed in a way that meets compliance with current health and safety legislation, best practice and regulatory standards to ensure the health and safety of residents, and that it also sets out issues concerning compliance and demonstrates how these are being managed.

Cabinet was informed that the report provides performance information to the end of quarter 2, 2022/23, and that there are no significant issues of non-compliance to report but that a recent internal audit of the Bournemouth neighbourhood identified several issues which are set out which impact upon assurance, and that there is also a concern in gaining access to homes in Bournemouth to carry out lift inspections.

In relation to this Cabinet was advised that there are increased responsibilities placed on social landlords to manage the health and safety of residents primarily included in the new Building Safety Act 2022 although many of its provisions require further secondary legislation.

Cabinet was informed that the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 require the council to fit carbon monoxide alarms to all its homes by 1 October 2022, and that the council had written to the Regulator of Social Housing as not all homes were compliant.

In relation to this Cabinet was informed that they had been advised that our programme to fit the alarms had already commenced and by February 2023 all our homes will be compliant, the Regulator’s expectations are that plans are put in place to ensure compliance and has replied confirming that there has been no breach of regulatory standards.

Cabinet was advised that with the creation of the new inhouse housing management service, BCP Homes, work is required to align policies and procedures regarding property compliance, and that future changes will also be made to the regulatory regime overseen by the Regulator through the Social Housing Regulation Bill, and that following the white paper, the charter for social housing residents, new national tenant satisfaction measures will be reported on from April 2023 and will include those relating to maintaining building safety.

Cabinet was informed that in preparation for these changes, the council will continue to take steps to improve our existing monitoring and recording of compliance work, and that an Advisory Board has been established to support the work of the new BCP Homes service and the Portfolio Holder for People and Homes, and that the Board, consisting of independent, resident and councillor members will provide an additional element of oversight and assurance around many areas including property compliance.

RESOLVED that: -

(a)          Cabinet notes the compliance information provided which details how the council is performing against statutory building compliance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

WISE Fly Tipping Enforcement Review pdf icon PDF 180 KB

On 25 May 2022 Cabinet considered the report Fly-tipping and Fly Posting Enforcement Pilot Review and resolved that the pilot be extended and a further report be presented in November 2022 with recommendations for the service long-term.

This report outlines the work carried out since May 2022 with the Councils Communications Team and Waste Compliance Officers in line with recommendations made to Cabinet, it summarises some of the learning from other Local Authorities and provides an update on the performance and data of the pilot.

The report considers the long-term plans to meet the challenges facing the Council with regards to environmental crimes and makes recommendations with regard to the way forward.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           approved the end of the existing pilot in March 2023;

(b)           approved Option 2, the extension of the scope of the service, to include investigation and issuing of fines for littering, fly-tipping and fly-posting offences to be provided by a contractor, subject to Tender process; and

(c)           approved the level of fines for littering at £150 with an early repayment level within 14 days of issue at £75.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Community Safety and Regulatory Services

Reason

The Fly Tipping and Fly Posting Enforcement pilot over the last 14 months has delivered a robust response. It is therefore recommended that this continues.

In addition, a similar extended model to include littering enforcement is now recommended to tackle the environmental damage of this behaviour and to improve the quality of the environment across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The costs of this service will be covered by the revenue collected from

payments of fines, of which 17.5% will be paid to the Council by the contractor, to be reinvested by the service.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'E' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was reminded that on 25 May 2022 Cabinet had considered the report Fly-tipping and Fly Posting Enforcement Pilot Review and resolved that the pilot be extended and a further report be presented in November 2022 with recommendations for the service long-term.

Cabinet was advised that this report outlines the work carried out since May 2022 with the Councils Communications Team and Waste Compliance Officers in line with recommendations made to Cabinet, and that it summarises some of the learning from other Local Authorities and provides an update on the performance and data of the pilot.

In relation to this Cabinet was informed that the report considers the long-term plans to meet the challenges facing the Council with regards to environmental crimes and makes recommendations with regard to the way forward.

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

a)             approved the end of the existing pilot in March 2023;

b)             approved Option 2, the extension of the scope of the service, to include investigation and issuing of fines for littering, fly-tipping and fly-posting offences to be provided by a contractor, subject to Tender process; and

c)             approved the level of fines for littering at £150 with an early repayment level within 14 days of issue at £75.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Community Safety and Regulatory Services

 

84.

Urgent Decisions taken by the Chief Executive in accordance with the Constitution

The Chief Executive to report on any decisions taken under urgency provisions in accordance with the Constitution.

Minutes:

Cabinet was advised that there were no urgent decisions taken by the Chief Executive in accordance with the Constitution to report on this occasion.

 

85.

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 316 KB

To consider the latest version of the Cabinet Forward Plan for approval.

Minutes:

The Leader advised that the latest Cabinet Forward Plan had been published on the Council’s website.

Cabinet highlighted the future reports coming through and the positive news across the high streets.